Deconstructing MMA Myths... [Part 27] - Pride OW GP, Mezger & Those Infamous 6 Lbs...

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by gono btw, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    Warning: TLDR here.

    [​IMG]

    Today:

    MYTH: Pride´s 2000 OW Grand Prix was rigged
    > Mezger got 'robbed'.


    Note: this thread can be seen as an extension of this one:

    https://forums.sherdog.com/threads/deconstructing-mma-myths-part-25-the-wild-wild-east.3886295/

    The SAKU vs Mezger case was too complex to be confined in the 25th Decons...

    Im not sayin´SAKU desserved the win (I could twist a narrative here...).
    Im jus´sayin´ that it was not an easy fight to score, especially with Pride´s complex Scoring System.
    I felt the draw was a realistic outcome, but I have no probz with anyone scorin´it for Mezger.

    The problem is about the narrative tryin´to be more 'mezgerist' than Mezger...
    Those who call this fight a hobbery, would probably call Mezger vs Shoji a hobbery too, for instance...

    Context: Pride´s 2000 OW Grand Prix.
    > SAKU was supposed to face Randleman, but he got injured, and Mezger stepped in.

    > Pride had the [very bad] idea to announce a potential [future] match-up between SAKU & Hoyce (a legit Super-fight...) during this tournament.

    > Guy (and Ken) claimed he signed the contract for a One Round fight (max. 15mns).

    Openweight Kazushi Sakuraba def. Guy Mezger: [Retirement]

    I- Scoring the fight according to Pride´s complex Scoring System:

    The criteria is as follows:

    1. Effort to finish the fight by KO or submission
    2. Damage
    3. Standing combinations and ground control
    4. Takedowns and defense
    5. Aggressiveness
    6. Weight differences (15 Kg or more @ HW) (10 Kg @ MW)

    These criteria are in order of priority or importance.
    They are considered in descending order if a fight goes to a decision.

    1. Effort to finish by KO or submission:

    Note: imo, both Bas & Quadros were slightly biased towards Mezger, especially when it comes to the kicks (they would say that Mezger´s kicks landed flush, while SAKU´s were blocked...).
    I suggest y´all to rewatch the fight without audio.

    - Striking:

    No KD here.


    SAKU scored with:
    > 3 good body kicks [liver shot]: imo the best qualitative strikes of the fight.
    > 1 pretty good head kick, & 2 decent ones
    > 3 decent leg kicks
    > 1 decent spinnin´ back kick
    > 1 decent knee
    > 2 decent body punches, 2 left jabs, 1 good uppercut to the body.
    Note: most SAKU´s leg kicks were checked.

    Mezger scored with:
    > 5 decent leg kicks, but no real damage (for a LHW)
    > 5 decent side kicks
    > 1 decent roundhouse kick [but end of the foot]
    > 1 good left kick, 1 decent high kick
    > 3 good right hands, 1 decent one, 1 decent punch to the body, 1 decent left hook
    > some elbows to body
    > 1 decent knee to body
    Note: most Guy´s leg kicks weren´t checked.

    > Nod: Per volume, Guy might get the nod here, but SAKU´s kicks seemed more powerful...
    It´s basically Quantity vs Quality ...


    - Submission Attempts:

    Nothing really threatening here.
    SAKU attempted a rollin´armbar and a kimura, but failed.
    Guy, nothing.

    > Nod: SAKU, here.

    Overall: Tough to score...Guy might get the nod here...

    2. Damage:

    SAKU did more damage with his body kicks (liver shot) and high kicks.
    While Guy did more damage with his jabs.

    Damage from Submission Attempts > None here.

    > Nod: pretty even here (tough to assess damage done [by a MW to a LHW] by the liver shots )

    3. Standing combinations and ground control:

    - Standing combinations:

    Guy had more combos here, especially with his hands.
    They both had their way with their kicks.
    Each showcased a large arsenal of strikes.

    > Nod: Mezger

    - Ground control:

    Guy got SAKU´s back once, during 4 sec. He also secured a front lock, but was quickly reversed

    SAKU got Guy´s back twice, during 25 sec and then 7 sec.
    SAKU was also on top of Guy once, during 5 sec. (attempted a weak rollin´armbar, and lost the position)

    Moreover, between the 8th mn and the end of the fight, all Guy did was defend SAKU´s single leg, while inflictin´almost none legit damage, except a few elbows to SAKU´s back.

    > Nod: SAKU.

    Overall: Even.

    4. Takedown and defense:

    As noted above, SAKU got 1 legit TD, while his other single leg TDs were well defended by Guy.

    > Nod: SAKU here, but Guy´s TDD was almost perfect.

    5. Aggressiveness:

    I would give the nod to here, he pressed the action a lil bit more.
    They both scored on the feet, but he was also the one seeking dominant position on the ground, got Guy´s back several times, even though he had no legit submission attempt.
    Guy was purely defensive on the ground.

    Moreover, SAKU finished stronger, pressin´the action.

    > Nod: SAKU.

    6. Weight Difference:

    > If a fighter is more than 15 Kilos lighter at heavyweight or 10 Kilos at middleweight, then he will be
    given an advantage here. This is only taken into consideration when the higher criteria are even.


    Indeed, this is the controversial part here, and the fighters´weight was not anounced this time.

    Since it was a short notice fight [2 weeks], Guy realistically must have come in heavier and [could have]
    had some 25 lbs
    over SAKU (Mezger claimed he was 199 lbs though, hard to assess...claimed he had flu b4 the fight, and that he was recovering from a kidney problem...while SAKU was @ 183 lbs vs Hoyler, 2 months b4...183 lbs bein´his 'historical' weight):

    Mezger: "That's what they said. That's how they justified it. The problem is, there wasn't a 10 kilo weight difference.
    I was 199 pounds.
    I got the flu from Ken's kids in training. I took four bags of fluids with me because I was so sick and dehydrated."

    The fight b4, vs Shoji, Guy came in @ 200 lbs [no flu, no short notice, no 'official' injury, even though he
    seemed to have a problem since he didnt use his right kick...]

    He then fought 1 month later against Brad Jones, @ Pure Action 2 [USA]. > I have no info on his weight.
    [Note: this fight seems to dismiss the possibility of a foot injury in the SAKU fight...]

    The next fight was against Masaaki Satake, 2 months later > Normal preparation, Weight = 203 lbs.

    Now, the infamous 10 Kg criteria = 22 lbs.
    The difference between Guy´s claim and SAKU´s weight = 16 lbs.


    I´ve always considered Mezger a no-nonsense fighter, pretty reliable.
    I see no reason to doubt him, but it´s indeed hard to believe that he came in @ his usual 200 lbs weight,
    with such a chaotic preparation and on short notice.

    And the whole controversy is pretty much about those 6 lbs...

    B heavy shit.gif


    As Quadros said:
    "They still had that 10kg handicapping [mentality].
    Let's say a fighter was 10 kilos or more lighter than another fighter.
    He already had a point in the round, so you basically had to beat him more than someone your own size."


    7/ Negative Points – Yellow Cards:

    > NONE here.

    II- Aftermath:

    Note: Matt Hume was one of the Judges (he knew the Lion´s Den crew since the Pancrase days...).
    He claimed that "We knew nothing about that. I don't doubt Ken had an agreement with them. What he claimed he was told was that it would be one round"

    This is what Guy said after the fight:[21 July 2001]

    Reporter : Has Pride ever approached you about doing a work?
    Guy Mezger : "No, pride had never asked me to work a match."

    Reporter : You fought Sakuraba in the Pride Grand Prix, opening round. The fight was only scheduled to be
    1, 15 minute round. Yet at the end of the first round Pride attempted to add another round, do you believe
    they tried to rob you?
    Guy Mezger : "Rob me, no."

    To prove that Im keepin´ it real, gonna add the rest of the interview:

    "Shitting themselves because they were expecting me to lose and when I did not, it was going to screw up
    the Hoyce/Sak match, which is a bigger sell in Japan. I think the match maker and high ups were not on the
    same page."

    > He naturally defended his win, but confirmed that he felt there was no hobbery.


    CONCLUSION: Consequently, what happened?

    Mismanagement:

    > Pride was still a rookie Org., this [OW] GP was their 1st, and they had to deal with several agendas
    [see the SAKU vs Hoyce fight configuration later, with no time limit...during a one night tournament (!?) ]...

    > Mezger took this fight on short notice, while he was sick [flu], and had [maybe] an injured foot (Mezger
    confirmed the flu [got it from Ken´s kids], and that he was recovering from a kidney problem but not the injury, in his post-fight interviews).
    He realistically shouldnt have taken it (was offered 6 figures though..).
    Even SAKU wasnt interested in this fight, claimin´that Mezger´s style was "boring"...
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  2. AimedWithV

    AimedWithV Wound in the Force

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    Messages:
    9,778
    Likes Received:
    20,306
    Mezger was really robbed against Wandy, who headbutted him...
     
  3. Hotora86

    Hotora86 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,915
    Likes Received:
    15,754
    Location:
    Land of Po
    Yellow text makes my eyes bleed.
    <mma1>
     
    315MMAFighter likes this.
  4. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    Ah the Vale Tudo days...
     
    315MMAFighter likes this.
  5. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    Opposite here...I cant stand all that red text....

    DC.gif
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
    315MMAFighter likes this.
  6. TheChance

    TheChance Black Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    6,412
    Likes Received:
    3,746
    Location:
    Waukesha
    You mean Japanese fighters > all. It's not that complicated
     
  7. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    groo wtf 2.gif
     
    HHJ, The Reed and 315MMAFighter like this.
  8. 315MMAFighter

    315MMAFighter MąïȚře Đë Đəğåť§ - Pure Dominican, Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    12,302
    Likes Received:
    41,587
    Location:
    Born Bronx, NY Live Geneva, NY
    <mma4>you the man Gono
     
  9. Blayt7hh

    Blayt7hh Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    24,666
    Likes Received:
    13,115
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I might be remembering wrong but I think there was something in the rules to that gp that for it to not go to a second round one fighter to win definitively and not just by a margin. Anyways, people should remember that Mezger didn’t “lose” until Ken through a fit and has him leave the arena
     
    Substance Abuse likes this.
  10. Aerosol

    Aerosol Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    456
    Amazing read thanks TS
     
    315MMAFighter and gono btw like this.
  11. The Reed

    The Reed Red Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    8,032
    Likes Received:
    2,437
    Yeah tell that to Yuki Kondo.
     
  12. HHJ

    HHJ Jeg reiser til mørkets dyp der alt er dødt.

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Messages:
    63,953
    Likes Received:
    46,516
    Hob teh gaijin
     
    gono btw likes this.
  13. Paolo Delutis

    Paolo Delutis Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4,223
    Likes Received:
    5,112
    Location:
    Ontario Canada

    Shamrock gonna shamrock.. Is normal

    tenor.gif
     
    HHJ likes this.
  14. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    B eye.gif
     
    piktogram and 315MMAFighter like this.
  15. BlueNote

    BlueNote Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    Bay Area
    IMO...Frank acted like a manaic after the draw announcement, and pulled Guy out of the match like a goon....if any "Work" was done, it was on Shamrock, he refused to let Guy continue . Maybe he was in with the Pride Officals to make sure Saku advanced....one way or another. No way Guy was going to win an overtime decision no matter how the final round played out! Just my own idea on the controversies

    Saku and Royce was going to happen
     
  16. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    chow2.gif
     
    piktogram likes this.
  17. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    akyam.gif
     
    HHJ likes this.
  18. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    24,672
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    The controversy isn't the weight, it's the draw. Historically, it's well-known that Ken was quick to lose his temper. However, he never lost his temper for no reason. He never just flew off the handle with no provocation. It was always an issue with Ken of whether he should've reacted to such an extreme to a given provocation (from yelling at Tito over the cage at UFC 19 to almost coming to blows with Don Frye at the PRIDE 19 press conference); it was never the case that he didn't have legit grounds for being upset.*

    (*The exceptions to this would be his second loss to Tito and his own loss to Sakuraba, where, after suffering flash KOs, he protested the stoppages. To be fair, in both instances he'd just had his already pretty scrambled brain further scrambled and genuinely thought that he was all there and that he should've been allowed to continue fighting. So, as a qualifier, perhaps it'd be most accurate to say that Ken was never a bullshitter; even if he was wrong on a particular issue, he always acted in good faith based on what he genuinely believed was the case.)

    In the case of the Mezger/Sakuraba fight, if Ken went apeshit like that because he thought that PRIDE was trying to screw one of his fighters over, then PRIDE was trying to screw one of his fighters over. He was very clear about it. The contract was for the fight to be one round at the end of which a winner was to be declared. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. At the end of the round, a winner would be declared and would move on in the tournament. They could've made it much easier on themselves if they would've just declared a winner. Even if Sakuraba would've gotten the nod, Ken and Guy could've complained until the end of time, but at least they would've been complaining about who won the fight, not about PRIDE jerking them around. Instead, the PRIDE officials tried to change shit up on the fly and Ken, as he always did, took a principled stand and refused to budge.

    I do think that it was a razor close fight, and, in normal circumstances, should've been declared a draw. But the key point is that those weren't normal circumstances. They should've declared a winner per the arrangement that they agreed to before the fight. It's as simple as that.

    On the subject of controversies in the 2000 GP, I've never seen anyone bring up the fact that Sakuraba could've/should've gotten the nod over Igor in their semi-final fight. They called it a draw, and it was a really close fight, but the weight discrepancy could've/should've tilted the scoring in Sakuraba's favor. Given the "hometown" advantage, I've always been shocked that he didn't get the nod and get a shot in the finals to win the GP.
     
  19. gono btw

    gono btw Rounds...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    8,545
    Likes Received:
    12,531
    lock.gif

    Still, b4 reachin´ Ken´s outburst, ya have to assess the fight itself and its scoring.

    And the controversy is indeed about those 6 lbs, the way I see it.That´s where them judges might have pushed the narrative in favour of a draw.
    And Quadros & Mezger agreed on it, for instance:

    Mezger: "That's what they said. That's how they justified it. The problem is, there wasn't a 10 kilo weight difference. I was 199 pounds. I got the flu from Ken's kids in training. I took four bags of fluids with me because I was so sick and dehydrated."


    Contract or not, Pride shouldnt have organized it that way, and Mezger shouldnt have taken the fight, but they threw 6 figures at him.
     
  20. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    24,672
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    We're splitting hairs, as we seem to be assessing the totality of that fight similarly, but the reason that I put the emphasis on the draw rather than the weight is because a draw shouldn't have even been an option. What should've been going through the judges' heads should've been: "We have to declare a winner, so let's consider everything, including the weight, and decide who most deserves the victory." In a perfect world, everything should've hinged on the weight as far as how to decide on who deserved the victory. Instead, they refused/didn't know they were supposed to make a decisive ruling and called it a draw.

    You could also make the case that Guy should've told Ken that he didn't care what anyone was trying to pull and that he was willing to fight another round. Of course, given Ken's personality, that might've been the equivalent of burning their bridge and could've resulted in Ken turning his back on Guy, which isn't something I imagine Guy would've been willing to risk. Still, though, at the end of the day, no matter who your coaches/teammates are, it's you in that ring and it's you who has to decide your fate. Regardless of Ken's hollering about contracts and agreements, Guy was faced with a simple choice: To fight or not. He opted not to fight. I totally understand where Ken was coming from: PRIDE made a deal and they were breaking it. And I totally understand where Guy was coming from: Ken was taking a stand and Guy followed his coach's lead.

    An unfortunate situation all around. When I look back on that fight, though, the sticking point for me is the one-round-winner-take-all stipulation. Declaring that fight a draw was a middle finger to Ken and Guy from PRIDE. Very not cool. We can debate about who should've done what after that middle finger went up, but first and foremost, the fact that PRIDE went back on their word and tried to change things up on the fly was not cool.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.